The U.S has launched the largest hacking fraud case. The investigation behind this monumental case exposed 5 men in Russia and Ukraine that ran a hacking operation that allegedly stole over 160 million credit card numbers over the last 7 years. The total loss of these thefts is estimated to be hundreds of millions of dollars. Many of the victims are large corporations such as JC Penny, Visa, Dow Jones, and 7-Eleven. Just three of those reported $300m in losses.
The attacks typically targeted weaknesses within databases, utilizing malware to access large corporate networks. The valuable personal data located within those networks was accessed and retrieved by two methods: trawling the data for information that could be sold to other criminals, and using sniffer software that sought out and collected valuable data. Each credit card number was sold for anywhere between $15 and $50 a piece, which when you consider the sheer number (160 million) of cards that were stolen, must have resulted in a quite the pay day for 5 men behind the biggest hacking case in US history.
Hacking actions put economic and security actions at risk
So, how were these cyber criminals not found out sooner? Prosecutors have advised that these men not only encrypted their communications, but also managed to disable security systems on the corporate networks they were targeting to avoid detection. The types of crimes involved in this hacking case are cutting edge. And just goes to show that there are individuals out there with the expertise and desire to hack into computer networks; their actions put our economic and national security at risk, as well as our privacy. It’s vital that we all do everything we can to protect ourselves from the cyber criminals and risks out there.
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Posted by Kirsten Dunlaevy